The day was perfect for this exploration, the temperature in the '70s, some cloud cover, no strong winds, so off I went for another go at Blue Mountain. The first two chutes on the south face of the Borax Benchmark dry-falled me for stops but the third route straight down the BM south face outside of the three main chutes into the Blue Mountain basin was the lucky charm.
Besides the challenge of scrambling straight up the north face of the BM above the Corkscrew Canyon mine works, the crest of the BM is rather tricky to navigate around just to get access to the down routes into Blue Mountain basin. I don't think I've ever been on a hike with more ups and downs and steep slopes in such a confined area. This is possible without any rope or technical equipment if one just goes slowly and always maintains at least a three-spot balance before changing foot and hand positions.
The geology has more variation from the gate off Highway 190 to the summit of Blue Mountain than any other short section of Death Valley that I know of. That last shot of the video is a good example of this.
Thanks to Mojave Geek, Steve Hall, and Kauri who are to blame for tickling my curiosity about The Borax Benchmark and Blue Mountain with their exciting trip reports and images.
FYI - Since I planted a summit register on Blue Mountain in September 2018, there are no new entries. I was hoping that there would be a few. I'm so glad to have completed the hike yesterday rather than today which was very windy and gusty.
So this completes my adventures on and around Blue Mountain. I highly recommend Upper Artist Platte basin and Blue Mountain Basic for great geology and color. I mean "chocolate waterfalls", you can't beat that!